Fiscal deficit touches 121.5% of full-year target in January : 27-02-2019

With slower-than-projected growth in tax receipts, the Centre’s fiscal deficit in the first ten months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 7.71 lakh crore or 121.5% of the full-year target (revised estimate), according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts on Tuesday. In the corresponding period last year, the deficit was 113.7% of the relevant annual target.

Net tax receipts (post refunds and devolution to states) grew just 5% in April-January of the current financial year against the year-ago period. A y-o-y growth of 19.5% is required to raise the revised estimate (RE) amount of Rs 14.84 lakh crore from taxes for the full year. So the government needs to collect a massive Rs 4.65 lakh crore in Feb-March period of this fiscal, up 71.4% over what it collected in the corresponding period last fiscal to meet the RE.

The gross direct tax has grown by 15.7% in April-January this year over the corresponding period of last year as against the required growth rate of 20.1% to meet the RE FY19 of Rs 11.89 lakh crore. As against a RE central GST target of Rs 5.03 lakh crore, the gross CGST collection stood at Rs 3.75 lakh crore or nearly 75% of the target in the first ten months of this year.

While it is widely believed that the Centre may have to apply brakes on the spending pace or delay in release of payments in the later part of the year to keep the promise of sticking to the FY19 RE fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of the GDP, capital spending in the first ten months was rather weak at Rs 2.3 lakh crore, 72.7% of the annual target and down 13% over the year-ago period.

Major subsidies up to Q3FY19 were Rs 2.6 lakh crore compared to Rs 2.18 lakh crore in the year ago period, as food and fuel subsidy payments reached 99% of the RE.

Revenue deficit in April-January of FY19 was at Rs 5.9 lakh crore or 143.4% of the annual target, while in the year ago period, the revenue deficit was 109.2% of the corresponding target.

Source : PTI